Anti-edema effect of Aloe vera leaf extract following traumatic brain injury: Role of pro-inflammatory cytokines

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Neuroscience Research Center, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Natural Products and Medicinal Plants Research Center, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran

3 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Psychology, Genetic Institute, Islamic Azad University- Zarand Branch, Kerman, Iran

5 Physiology Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Objective: Based on anti-inflammatory effects of Aloe vera, the effect of aqueous extract of this plant on brain edema and changes in some pro-inflammatory cytokines was investigated after traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Materials and Methods: In this study, adult male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups: Sham, TBI, vehicle (Veh), and low dose (LA) and high dose (HA) Aloe vera. The vehicle and aqueous extract of Aloe vera were injected intraperitoneally 30 min after induction of diffuse TBI by Marmarou’s method. Brain edema (brain water content), and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and IL-1β levels in serum and brain were measured 24 hr after TBI induction.
Results: Increased brain edema by TBI was reduced by both LA and HA (p Aloe vera doses compared to Veh (p <0.001). The differences in the IL-6 serum levels among Veh, LA and HA groups were not significant. Increases in serum and brain IL-1β levels were reduced only in the HA group (p <0.001). Although only in the brain, TNF-α level increased after trauma, but both LA and HA inhibited it in a dose-dependent manner (p Conclusion: These results indicated that Aloe vera has a neuroprotective effect induced by reducing brain edema. The probable mechanism particularly for HA is decreasing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TGF-β, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β.


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